So far, I haven't heard anyone mention one particular small incident that took place during the game last night--NESN seemed to take the tack of pretending it didn't happen immediately; neither Don or Jerry said a word about it even as it occurred. It was not mentioned in postgame interviews, press conferences or on the postgame show. I haven't seen it mentioned on any blogs today. I didn't scrutinize every word of the official reports today but so far the story hasn't surfaced in any of the sources I checked with a pretty thorough Googling.
After Varitek was lifted, Wells was pitching to Grady Sizemore to lead off the fifth inning. He reached a count of 0-2 on Sizemore on his first two pitches, establishing a better rhythm with him than most of the other hitters Wells had faced on the night--in fact, he had jumped out to an 0-2 count on only two other hitters in four torturous innings of work, and Sizemore was the only one whose 0-2 count didn't include a foul ball.
Remy and Orsillo commented after his second pitch, a curveball with good bite that painted the inside corner (to be generous about it--it may have been a questionable call, but that's beside the point) that it seemed as if Wells had crossed up Mirabelli on that particular delivery. Immediately after the pitch came in, Mirabelli trotted out to the mound to talk to Wells, with his face mask still on. As Sizemore was the leadoff hitter, there was no one on base, although Wells also talked through his glove during the meeting, so it may have been simply out of habit that Mirabelli kept his facemask down.
The two chatted for a while--with glove and mask over faces it was difficult to tell facial expressions, and the interpretation of body language is an inexact science, to say the least. So I don't want to make any assumptions about what happened. But what seemed to happen was that tension built between pitcher and catcher until, just as the umpire was approaching to break up their conference, Wells reached out with his glove and shoved Mirabelli away by the facemask. After the shove, Wells' facial expression and body language did not seem to be in any way playful, and Mirabelli kept after him, finally turning and heading back behind the plate, his body language also stiff.
It could very well be that I misinterpreted something, and the way NESN patently did not mention it, even as it occurred or just afterwards, it has seemed to me at times that I didn't really see what I think I saw. But I was watching with two other people (my mother and my fiancee), both of whom exclaimed over it right away.
Did anyone else see this happen? Did anyone else have the same sense that I did, that it was a seriously hostile moment and not a playful push? Has anyone else out there read anything that talks about this today? Is there any information out there about the relationship between Wells and Mirabelli? I'm very curious to know.